Easy Swaps for a Low Carb Diet
March 24, 2020 • Posted in
Cutting down on carbohydrates can save you from going over your calorie count for the day. That's reason enough to trim down on carbs if you're simply looking to lose weight. Low-carb diets are also recommended for individuals trying to control diabetes, and for those embarking on the keto diet. Your carbohydrate needs will depend on how your body works and your dietary needs, so consult with your doctor for a recommended daily amount.
Are you thinking of curbing the carbs and joining one of the current healthy eating trends? Here are some ways to replace carb-rich foods for healthy (yet still tasty) alternatives.
Swap Potato Chips With Healthy Snacks
You can tell yourself you're only going to have a small handful for a snack, but potatoes contain some of the highest carb amounts among vegetables. A smarter snack is a serving of nuts like peanuts, pecans or walnuts.
If you still want a dippable afternoon food to tide you over until dinnertime, fresh carrots, celery and slices of bell peppers are healthy choices with natural fiber included. You can scoop these crunchy veggies in chickpea hummus, another low-carb food.
Make Your Own Cauliflower Rice
Rice is one of those starchy foods that, although tastes great with many kinds of dishes, contains upwards of 30 grams of carbs in one cup, according to the USDA. Cauliflower rice, which you can find packaged at stores, provides just 5 grams. It's a great substitute with a similar shape.
For an easy method to make cauliflower rice at home, cut the bottom off a cauliflower head and break it apart into individual florets. Next, you can either grate the florets by hand, using the largest holes for a thicker resulting texture, or place them in a food processor and pulse. Then, cook the rice in a skillet for a little over three minutes with oil and your favorite seasonings and veggies.
Try Noodles Made From Vegetables
Noodles provide about 40 grams of carbohydrate per cup. If you still want to enjoy your pasta dishes guilt-free, try spaghetti squash, a gourd with flesh that breaks into strings with a fork after cooking. Spiralized noodles made from a low-carb veggie like zucchini are also a good idea. Either of these can help you fit more fiber, vitamins and minerals into your diet.
Replace Tortillas With Lettuce or Egg Wraps
Tortillas made from wheat or corn flour naturally come loaded with carbs, even if you choose whole-grain varieties. If you take a large, flexible leaf of iceberg lettuce, it can roll up all your favorite sandwich fillings. For a low-carb and high-protein wrap, make tortillas from eggs by whisking a few with milk and salt, then pouring it thinly into a skillet as if you're making a light omelet. Remove and let it cool slightly before you fill it.
Try wrapping pieces of chicken breast and chopped vegetables in one of these flour tortilla substitutes!
Cutting carbs doesn't mean you have to cut down on enjoying your food. It's best to be conscious about checking nutritional labels and making organized notes to yourself throughout the day. Looking for more health-conscious cooking tips? Check out our blog and our recipes today!